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Hacking the Rectangular Starlink Dishy Cable
@jbowler
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jbowler commented Feb 24, 2023

Oleg Kutkov has modded the rectangular dishy with an outdoor ethernet connector

I've been working to a large extent off the analysis Oleg posted; the link you quoted. However it doesn't contain the picture you posted. I have weatherproof connectors of that form and they can be used pretty easily in this application yet it is still necessary to drill a hole in the dish reverse. That looks like the wrong place to me because there is a big compartment around the mast entry point containing the motors; it's not enough to get into that compartment, it's necessary to get into the main compartment with the MB to do what I said.

@bghira
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bghira commented Feb 25, 2023

If you've gone that far you've had access to the motherboard to disconnect the motor connector. The ethernet connector is in there too, just a 10-pin standard (I'm pretty sure) connector. Most likely 8 ethernet conductors plus two shield but the pictures I have aren't clear enough to be sure. Crimping a new connector with the StarLink cable and a new ferrite should allow the perfect solution. The StarLink cable seems pretty good, I believe it's the SPX connectors that are the problem.

yeah i mentioned that already.

also, the shielding isn't really needed. neither is the ferrite core. the ferrite might cause bigger issues tbh.

@torrmundi
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torrmundi commented Feb 25, 2023 via email

@dreadlordchase
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dreadlordchase commented Feb 27, 2023

I'm looking to ditch the Starlink (rectangular dish) router all together and go with PoE injection. I'm going to use a DishyPowa so I'll just need a power supply. I've seen some linked but haven't been able to get any of them. I did find this one here that will take in 110/120vac and output 48vdc up to 3.13a. Seems like it should work well, but was hoping someone with a little more knowledge could tell me.

@WIMMPYIII
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Reolink 52v 150w used to be on Amazon for $35 but they are out of stock now. Here is one but you will have to get a us plug adapter.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004574962720.html

@jbowler
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jbowler commented Feb 27, 2023

I'm going to use a DishyPowa so I'll just need a power supply. I've seen some linked but haven't been able to get any of them.

The one I linked to is (still) available on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08889XW1F

There's a 2A version on the same page which should be just fine. The Reolink is grounded; the ground (earth) pin of the mains supply is connected to the V- on the output. This varies with PSUs, I don't know about the one that I'm using (above) but I have a separate ground for the dish - I have a surge protector between the dish and the Tycon PoE I'm using.

@WIMMPYIII
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I'm going to use a DishyPowa so I'll just need a power supply. I've seen some linked but haven't been able to get any of them.

The one I linked to is (still) available on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08889XW1F

There's a 2A version on the same page which should be just fine. The Reolink is grounded; the ground (earth) pin of the mains supply is connected to the V- on the output. This varies with PSUs, I don't know about the one that I'm using (above) but I have a separate ground for the dish - I have a surge protector between the dish and the Tycon PoE I'm using.

If you are going to go that route I would at least get the 3a.

@jbowler
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jbowler commented Feb 27, 2023

If you are going to go that route I would at least get the 3a.

What is your reasoning?

@WIMMPYIII
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WIMMPYIII commented Feb 27, 2023

These cheap supplies cant keep up nearly what they are rated for. Most people doing DC to DC conversations are actually picking 6-8 amp units because they can better handle the constant lower amp draw.

@crdiaz324
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Has anyone been able to figure out how to power the High-Performance dish off of DC power? I am thinking of getting one, but I don't want to have to go out and buy an inverter just to power it up.

@jbowler
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jbowler commented Mar 2, 2023

the High-Performance dish

Which one is that? This thread is about the rectangular dish (the V3, IRC); I don't think anyone has given any information about the newer StarLink offerings.

@WIMMPYIII
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the High-Performance dish

Which one is that? This thread is about the rectangular dish (the V3, IRC); I don't think anyone has given any information about the newer StarLink offerings.

He it talking about the $2500 HP. From what I have seen from it's performance it's not worth it. But there are some people on the Facebook SL hack group that have built DC conversations. I think they powered directly to the PCB pinouts inside the dish.

@torrmundi
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Remember I had the issue with Peplink BR1 Mini WAN port showing "No Cable Connected" when I used a POE and direct connection to Dishy (no SL router + Eth adapter)? Another telling symptom (thanks JBowler) is the exclusive reporting of ethSpeedMbps=100. I have now been able to connect Dishy <> PoE <> Peplink WAN and it works, as long as I set the WAN port speed below 1000Mbps. So 100Mbps half or full duplex and 10Mbps half or full duplex work fine. The setting is reached from dashboard, Wan Connection Status, Details, Physical Interface Settings, Port Speed. So I believe JBowler is correct in deducing that at least one of the four conductors in pair 3 and pair 4 paths has died within my Dishy. SpaceEx can see that there is a problem with ethernet connection speed and has sent me a new cable, new Eth adapter and (not yet received), a new router. None of which will solve this!

@WIMMPYIII
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@bghira
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bghira commented Mar 14, 2023

we're talking about hacking the wire and specs of the dishy on this gist. i know it's not my page, but can you not spam others with irrelevant youtube links? that just feels like advertising that service, which, honestly, who cares about it.

@WIMMPYIII
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we're talking about hacking the wire and specs of the dishy on this gist. i know it's not my page, but can you not spam others with irrelevant youtube links? that just feels like advertising that service, which, honestly, who cares about it.

Sorry to hurt your butt. I was just showing my application of the mod. Didn't realize it would be taken so offensively.

@bghira
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bghira commented Mar 14, 2023

it's not a discord server. it's a technical post. claiming that my "butt is hurt" is also a homophobic slur. that's actually the offensive part, so far. it was a polite request, which you're now lashing out at.

@WIMMPYIII
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it's not a discord server. it's a technical post. claiming that my "butt is hurt" is also a homophobic slur. that's actually the offensive part, so far. it was a polite request, which you're now lashing out at.

Wow...

@jbowler
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jbowler commented Apr 14, 2023

This just "appeared" on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Passive-Injector-Protection-Developed-pinout/dp/B0BX74T2T5

It appears to have the correct pinout, it requires an appropriate (48V) input source; several have been suggested above. It also needs grounding to provide protection against static accumulation. Normally the mains AC -> 48V buck converters do not connect either rail (+ or -) to ground, but all the capable ones seem to have a three pin power supply and the earth can be used so long as it isn't disconnected. IRC the US requirement is that the earthing circuit be hardwired.

Another approach with (maybe, read the spec sheet) surge protection but with the disadvantage that an MDI-X pin swap (not the MID one documented above) is required:

https://www.tyconsystems.com/tp-poe-hp-56g

That unit is, so far, unique among the ones I've read spec sheets for in that it has in-rush and overcurrent protection. That could be very important given the apparent massive inrush when power is first applied (16A?) and the periodic 3.4A very short term peak which AC mains buck converters handle (they have to handle a 100-120Hz supply) but may be the source of the problem with boost converters (which tend to use a much higher frequency).

The vendor of the first unit says that a version incorporating voltage conversion is in "R&D"; see the comments.

@Shangrila385
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Anyone selling a 250’ cable for starlink rectangular dish to modem. I would like to buy one already assembled that works.

@WIMMPYIII
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Anyone selling a 250’ cable for starlink rectangular dish to modem. I would like to buy one already assembled that works.

Where are you located?

@Shangrila385
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I am in Northern California usa

@Shangrila385
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In Northern California USA. The cable is semi exposed to weather. I was thinking of cat 6e direct burial because it is stronger. But I really don’t know what I need to make sure I have good signal and low resistance

@WIMMPYIII
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In Northern California USA. The cable is semi exposed to weather. I was thinking of cat 6e direct burial because it is stronger. But I really don’t know what I need to make sure I have good signal and low resistance

Message me on email so we don't highjack this thread. starlinktree@gmail.com

@dougbrouwer
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I've been trying to get my 12V conversion working reliably. I'm using what seems like the most common POE injector, the Tycon POE-INJ-1000-WT, wired as per several posts on the web. I've used both the 288 watt and the 192 watt versions of this type of 12V to 48V converter: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0B7WZGCM3/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1. I'm using a variable power supply running at 12V while I get this going, before moving it to my boat.

The setup has worked fine for some period of time, maybe 6 hours, then quits. After the first time it quit, after checking everything I could check, I replaced the Tycon injector and that fixed it. In both of these setups I was using the 192 watt converter. Now it has quit again. I tried using the 288 watt converter, but that didn't change anything. I have another Tycon injector on the way, but even though they're cheap ($10 from Tycon), unless I just happened to get a couple of weak ones, replacing the injectors is not a long term solution.

So I have a couple of questions: Is there a good way to test that the injector is functional? Any thoughts on why my setup might be slowly frying the injector?

@jbowler
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jbowler commented Apr 29, 2023

So I have a couple of questions: Is there a good way to test that the injector is functional?

The PoE testers I mentioned earlier can detect the passive PoE but the indications can be a little difficult to fathom, particularly if plugged directly into the Tycon because of the swapped wiring. Best is to make a breakout RJ45 cable - just a short length of CAT5e connected to an RJ45 (with the standard wiring) and the other end bare wire ends. Then you do these checks with the RJ45 plugged in to the Tycon PoE out:

  1. Without power to the Tycon check the resistance between each color pair. It should be around 1 ohm or a little less. Anything over a couple of ohms indicates a bad connection or blown ethernet magnetics in the Tycon.
  2. Without power to the Tycon validate the magnetics by using standard RJ45 cables and plugging one end into a switch, or anything with LEDs to indicate a satisfactory link and the other into a computer or any device with an RJ45 port (including another switch). If you don't get a link the magnetics are probably blown. If you use devices on both ends which can do gigabit ethernet the test is much better; you should get a gigabit connection through the Tycon.
  3. Now go back to the breakout cable and very carefully separate all 8 wires then plug the power in to the Tycon. Take great care not to short the wires! You should see 48V across any two conductions from different ethernet channels when the power is connected. EDIT: This wiring is the wrong one:Channel 1 (1,2,3,6 IRC, but check) should be the +48V and channel two (the other four conductors) should be the -48V, so {1,2,3,6} to {7,8,4,5} should measure 48V for each combination (1,7 1,8, 1,4 1,5, etc, etc. Using the wiring marked on the PoE injector itself; this refers to the RJ45 pins by number (often with a helpful diagram) - this is completely independent of how the RJ45 jack is wired. In both the standard wirings (T-568A and T-568B) and the "swapped" StarLink wiring the brown pair is attached to pins 7 and 8 of the RJ45 jack, so that's an easy double check. It's a bit tedious to do the test and the combinations but it is worth it.)

It is also possible to do a load test after (3) by using some load to verify that you can get 2A out of the setup, or to run a load tester as I think I described above.

The injector is passive. It doesn't use the power to do anything other than supply power on the PoE port so the channels can be tested without power. The power supply inside the Tycon is pretty basic so you can test it without any ethernet signals. This is why the above works.

Any thoughts on why my setup might be slowly frying the injector?

But is it fried? My own system drops out regularly but it is nothing to do with the PoE; what happens is that the dish gets an obstruction at the moment my router is trying to renew the DHCP lease from StarLink, this causes my router to permanently drop the connection until I pull out the RJ45 at the router and plug it back in again. It's a known problem (not necessarily StarLink's, since the DHCP dropout is pretty much unavoidable).

As for your setup it is certainly capable of frying the Tycon and maybe even the dish. The Tycon does not have any protection so connecting a hot PSU to it results in a significant, maybe massive, inrush of current until the dish converters are up to power. The short circuit protection in the boost converter may be enough to prevent damage, but who knows? If it were me I would use the 12->48 3A model; it should not be able to fry the Tycon unless something in your setup is continuously drawing 3A (or so) though the injector.

I can't see why the injector would end up damaged over time. I measured the current over a reasonably extended period (an hour or so) and saw peaks of 3.4A (as described above). Consequently if the injector is getting fried over time I would suspect that the boost converter is being erratic and sometimes delivering less than 48V. Because it is a DC boost converter the designer assumed that the 12V would be there all the time; it isn't designed to handle the 100-times-per-second dropout in the supply (input) voltage that happens with an AC converter. If your supply does drop out then it is possible that the Tycon will see repeated high inrush currents. You might test with a 12V battery (e.g. use a car jump starter, which should have enough capacity for close to 6 hours). If that works suspect a power supply issue.

It is very clear from everything that has been said that getting a DC-DC boost system to work is a lot more difficult than getting an AC-DC buck system to work. I have ideas about why this might be because of the differences between DC and AC PSUs but I'm just guessing. There must be an answer of course.

@WIMMPYIII
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So I have a couple of questions: Is there a good way to test that the injector is functional?

The PoE testers I mentioned earlier can detect the passive PoE but the indications can be a little difficult to fathom, particularly if plugged directly into the Tycon because of the swapped wiring. Best is to make a breakout RJ45 cable - just a short length of CAT5e connected to an RJ45 (with the standard wiring) and the other end bare wire ends. Then you do these checks with the RJ45 plugged in to the Tycon PoE out:

  1. Without power to the Tycon check the resistance between each color pair. It should be around 1 ohm or a little less. Anything over a couple of ohms indicates a bad connection or blown ethernet magnetics in the Tycon.
  2. Without power to the Tycon validate the magnetics by using standard RJ45 cables and plugging one end into a switch, or anything with LEDs to indicate a satisfactory link and the other into a computer or any device with an RJ45 port (including another switch). If you don't get a link the magnetics are probably blown. If you use devices on both ends which can do gigabit ethernet the test is much better; you should get a gigabit connection through the Tycon.
  3. Now go back to the breakout cable and very carefully separate all 8 wires then plug the power in to the Tycon. Take great care not to short the wires! You should see 48V across any two conductions from different ethernet channels when the power is connected. Channel 1 (1,2,3,6 IRC, but check) should be the +48V and channel two (the other four conductors) should be the -48V, so {1,2,3,6} to {7,8,4,5} should measure 48V for each combination (1,7 1,8, 1,4 1,5, etc, etc. It's a bit tedious to do the test but it is worth it.)

It is also possible to do a load test after (3) by using some load to verify that you can get 2A out of the setup, or to run a load tester as I think I described above.

The injector is passive. It doesn't use the power to do anything other than supply power on the PoE port so the channels can be tested without power. The power supply inside the Tycon is pretty basic so you can test it without any ethernet signals. This is why the above works.

Any thoughts on why my setup might be slowly frying the injector?

But is it fried? My own system drops out regularly but it is nothing to do with the PoE; what happens is that the dish gets an obstruction at the moment my router is trying to renew the DHCP lease from StarLink, this causes my router to permanently drop the connection until I pull out the RJ45 at the router and plug it back in again. It's a known problem (not necessarily StarLink's, since the DHCP dropout is pretty much unavoidable).

As for your setup it is certainly capable of frying the Tycon and maybe even the dish. The Tycon does not have any protection so connecting a hot PSU to it results in a significant, maybe massive, inrush of current until the dish converters are up to power. The short circuit protection in the boost converter may be enough to prevent damage, but who knows? If it were me I would use the 12->48 3A model; it should not be able to fry the Tycon unless something in your setup is continuously drawing 3A (or so) though the injector.

I can't see why the injector would end up damaged over time. I measured the current over a reasonably extended period (an hour or so) and saw peaks of 3.4A (as described above). Consequently if the injector is getting fried over time I would suspect that the boost converter is being erratic and sometimes delivering less than 48V. Because it is a DC boost converter the designer assumed that the 12V would be there all the time; it isn't designed to handle the 100-times-per-second dropout in the supply (input) voltage that happens with an AC converter. If your supply does drop out then it is possible that the Tycon will see repeated high inrush currents. You might test with a 12V battery (e.g. use a car jump starter, which should have enough capacity for close to 6 hours). If that works suspect a power supply issue.

It is very clear from everything that has been said that getting a DC-DC boost system to work is a lot more difficult than getting an AC-DC buck system to work. I have ideas about why this might be because of the differences between DC and AC PSUs but I'm just guessing. There must be an answer of course.

I have setup at least 100 of these both with ac-dc and dc-dc and have had 100% reliability. But I don't use tycons, I think they are junk compared to other alternatives.

And I never use 48v in most cases dishy end is getting undervolted with 48. I know the gen2 AP is 48 but it would be more reliable with slightly higher. I think 48 was done for cost savings not reliability.

@bghira
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bghira commented Apr 30, 2023

i had the same issue with the tycon. i tried a mccown but they're sensitive and i am pretty sure i sparked this one with a fat-fingered move where i accidentally brushed the shielded RJ45 connector up against something important - most likely an IEC. it was doing okay for a while after that, and even hit 190mbps but the next day it's limited to 10mbps.

currently i've given up on the idea of running it from purely 12v. it seems to work for some, but the heartache and expense and continually smelling burnt components just isn't sustainable or healthy. and i'm the type who usually refuses to give up until it works. i have a 1980 watt solar installation on my rooftop of my small house. was pretty frustrated with myself for shorting that McCown, as it took soo long to acquire.

@bghira
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bghira commented Apr 30, 2023

i will say the one thing i know is if you use the variable 1500w power supply from Amazon and tune it to 50v you'll have the best luck, as someone else had recommended. i followed that advice and that was the best. with the 388w or so, "heatsink resin style" transformer unit from Amazon that you're using, I just couldn't get any kind of reliable link from it, limiting to 1.5mbps or so. pretty abysmal.

@morehardware
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morehardware commented Apr 30, 2023 via email

@dougbrouwer
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Thanks Morehardware--Tycon makes a bunch of different PoE injectors. Is the cheap, POE-INJ-1000-WT that has been working for you, or are you using one of their more expensive models, and if so, which one?

Given experiences like yours, it's a mystery to me why swapping out the POE-INJ-1000-WT fixed my issue for a short time, and then failed, presumably, but not yet definitively, because of the injector again.

I've ordered one of the 1500W power supplies....

@bghira
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bghira commented Apr 30, 2023

well my Tycon was ruined by the Amazon cheap-ass PSU. when opening it up. the feet of the power module are separated from the PCB. they're not soldered very well and the heat pops them off.

@bghira
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bghira commented Apr 30, 2023

@dougbrouwer that's the one that'll work.

@dougbrouwer
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dougbrouwer commented Apr 30, 2023

"the feet of the power module are separated from the PCB."
Wow! That's pretty strange for a 130W rated device that carries a 3 year warranty.....
If Tycon doesn't replace mine under the warranty I'll open it up and report back.

@jbowler
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jbowler commented May 1, 2023

@dougbrouwer do you have any of the four connections to the buck converter connected (directly or indirectly) to ground? By "ground" I mean a structure of vehicle ground that part of the dish might be connected to? For example if the mast is grounded or the shielded cable from the dish. The Tycon shouldn't be connecting the shield to anything; it just passes the connection straight through, but if you have a surge suppressor inline or if you connect to a shielded port on the router that probably would.

@dougbrouwer
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any of the four connections to the buck converter connected (directly or indirectly) to ground?

Not any any way that's intentional. I'm simply using shielded RJ-45 connectors, and I'm being careful to connect the wire ground to the shield.

@dougbrouwer
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well my Tycon was ruined by the Amazon cheap-ass PSU. when opening it up.

@bghira What's the secret to opening up the Tycon injector? It's not obvious to me. Is it glued shut?

@jbowler
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jbowler commented May 2, 2023

any of the four connections to the buck converter connected (directly or indirectly) to ground?

Not any any way that's intentional. I'm simply using shielded RJ-45 connectors, and I'm being careful to connect the wire ground to the shield.

I'm not sure what you mean, but if you manage to ground the PoE then it is quite possible that you will blow it.

@bghira
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bghira commented May 4, 2023

@dougbrouwer a dremel

@Shangrila385
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Shangrila385 commented May 5, 2023 via email

@jbowler
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jbowler commented May 5, 2023

Can anyone explain in layman terms how to make a cable to use on starlink that is 300’ long and will work without losing signal strength? The dish is being put on the roof of a high rise bldg. And cable dropped down a shaft to lower floor.

That's actually very easy assuming there is a weatherproof location with power within 150' (or, cheaper, 75') of the dish location. That's pretty much a cert for a highrise. You put the StarLink router in the weatherproof enclosure, connect it to the building supply and connect it to the dish using the standard StarLink cables and the standard (USD25) Ethernet Dongle also from StarLink. Put the router into bypass mode, plug a standard 100m (300') ethernet cable into the dongle and the other end into the router on the lower floor.

There are lots of other ways, including the recently advertized stuff on Amazon that I quoted recently, but they are more expensive and, in most (but not all) cases, involve cutting cables. Easiest is to stick the router on the roof and do the drop from the dongle.

Anyone familiar with ethernet setup will know how to do this once they get their head round the weird StarLink router/dongle arrangement.

@Shangrila385
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Shangrila385 commented May 5, 2023 via email

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